Small Wild Goose Pagoda locates in the south part of Xi’an City inside the Jianfu Temple. It is a national AAAA scenic area and a World Heritage Site. Together with the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, these two famous pagodas are the most important Buddhist pagodas built during the Tang Dynasty in Xi’an, which already had the history of about 1,300 years.
Origin of the name
During the reign period of Emperor Gaozong, in the year of 652, Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built inside the Da Ci'en Temple to store the sutras, which the eminent monk Xuan Zang had brought from India. During the reign period of Emperor Zhongzong, in the year of 707, Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in order to store the Buddhist sutras that Monk Yi Jing had brought from India.
Because Wild Goose Pagoda was built inside the Jianfu Temple, it was also called Jianfu Temple Pagoda in the past during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties. Later, people thought that Jianfu Temple Pagoda looked very similar like the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and it was a little bit small, then in order to distinguish the two pagodas, Jianfu Temple Pagoda was called the Small Wild Goose Pagoda instead.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda originally is 45 meters’ high and has 15 storeys. It was built of blue bricks. Due to the numerous violent storms and countless earthquakes in the history, the two upper storeys were destroyed. The existing pagoda has 13 storeys and measures 43.4 meters in height.
The base of the pagoda is square, and each side is 11.38 meters. Beneath the pagoda there is an underground palace, and are made of overlapping bricks. The ground storey has two doors facing south and north respectively. Exquisite windows are placed on each of other storeys. The decorative pictures of clouds, monk, Buddha on the bricks reflect the artistic style of Tang Dynasty. The pagoda looks like a rectangular pyramid, with a beautiful design and perfect proportions.
As the symbol building of the Buddhist architectures of the Tang Dynasty, Small Wild Goose Pagoda also represents the artistic heritage. It witnessed how Buddhism was introduced to China and integrated with the culture of Han nationality.